Mike Martin Says "Welcome"; Burien's Population May Grow To Nearly 50K
Signs around town declare it in several languages. But at last weekâ€™s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, Burien City Manager Mike Martin kept the greeting simple.
â€œWelcome,â€ Martin said to the new residents of North Burien. Until that morning (April 1), their address had been in unincorporated King County. â€œWeâ€™re just thrilledâ€ this has finally happened.
Noting the first steps toward annexation were taken â€œyears and years before I got here,â€ he said the successful annexation of North Burien â€œis due in large part to the work of [the unincorporated area council].â€
â€œIt was a struggle, but when we got down to the actual annexation, it went just as it should,â€ including a â€œreal solid voteâ€ last August for annexation by Burien. â€œThis is good public policy.â€
And the cityâ€™s census of North Burien residents and businesses is revealing something unexpected, he reported.
â€œWe expected around 14,000 new residents â€¦ it looks now like it will be more than 16,000 â€¦ so that would be close to 50,000 residentsâ€ in the enlarged city.
Martin also thanked North Highline residents who live in the remaining unincorporated area â€œfor your expression of interest in Burien.
He noted there is â€œstill active, enthusiastic interestâ€ on the part of several Burien City Council members in an eventual annexation of that area, which remains a future option for these residents.
But, Martin added, the city â€œwants to make this annexation a success first.â€
North Burien has already been included in the cityâ€™s planning process, he continued, including discussions for an ongoing program of maintaining city streets with routine asphalt overlays. Code enforcement will increase gradually with consideration for what has been allowed here in the past.
The city is also working with the King County Sheriffâ€™s Office â€œto have a physical presenceâ€ in North Burien. This will probably include police staffing, parks and recreation information and permit processing via teleconnection with city hall at the existing sheriffâ€™s storefront office in Boulevard Park.
â€œWeâ€™re hoping for something more central, but this is fine for now,â€ Martin said.